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Windows 7: Please Help Me Understand the Partitions on My Hard-Drive


30 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Please Help Me Understand the Partitions on My Hard-Drive

Hi all,

I have attached a screen-shot of my partitions. This is how it is out-of-the-box.

From reading up, I know that a hard-drive can have maximum four primary partitions or three primaries and one extended, and that the extended partition can be sub-divided into several logical partitions.

You can see from my screen-shot that I have one tiny, 200mb primary partition (something to do with the boot loader I think?); the large, C: partition, which is marked as primary; the D: partition which is marked as logical; and an un-named partition for the OEM's back-up software which is also primary.

So does that mean I currently have three, separate primary partitions and one logical partition?

If so, then why is the logical partition not marked as an extended partition, if there is only one?



Attached Thumbnails
Please Help Me Understand the Partitions on My Hard-Drive-disk-partitions-ideapad-peggi.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Nov 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It is an extended partition. There is no "Extended" naming. The first logical is automatically an extended. Else you got everthing right. You can go ahead and make more partitions - if you like. No danger of "Dynamics".

PS: and you are right. The 200MB partition does contain the bootmgr. Do not touch it or you will not be able to boot any more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thank you whs for your quick response.

I was confused because the colour-code in partition manager shows green for an extended partition, yet it seems that you'd never have an extended on it's own, so why have a colour for it?

Anyway, is it possible for me to shrink the C: drive, then increase the D: drive (logical) and divide it into three, separate logicals? So in the end I'll have
  1. the hidden bootmgr partition (primary)
  2. the C: drive (primary)
  3. the D: drive (logical)
  4. a new E: drive (logical)
  5. a new F: drive (logical)
  6. and the hidden, OEM drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Nov 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

In principle that is possible. You must, however, also delete the D: partition so that you get a contiguous unallocated space. If you have stuff on D:, save it first.

Question though - why do you want that many partitions. Usually you are better off with one big partition which you subdivide into folders. That is more flexible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I don't particularly want all those partitions, but I want to install a Linux distro but keep Windows 7, so have a dual-boot set-up.

What I'm aiming for is:

1. the hidden bootmgr partition - 200mb - (primary)
2. the C: drive - for Windows - about 80 Gb - (primary)
3. the D: drive - for Lenovo software/drivers - 30 Gb - (logical)
4. the new E: drive - for the Linux distro - about 80 Gb - (logical)
5. the new F: drive - for data - about 430 Gb - (logical)
6. the hidden, OEM drive - for Lenovo's recovery software - about 15 Gb - (primary)

Do you think this is possible?

I don't know if I can delete the D: because the Lenovo drivers, etc., are on it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2011   #6

windows7 enterprise,ultimate 32bit & 64bit
 
 

no its not possible
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peGGi View Post
I was confused because the colour-code in partition manager shows green for an extended partition, yet it seems that you'd never have an extended on it's own, so why have a colour for it?
Hi peGGi,

the reason is simple - did you notice the green frame around your logical volume? That frame represents the extended partition itself - the logical volume is just what's contained within.

You can have an extended partition without anything in it - in that case, the green helps you distinguish it from plain "unallocated space" so you don't get confused.

For example, if you wanted to create a primary partition where the extended partition is, you would know to delete the extended partition first (even though there's already nothing in it) instead of trying to create the primary partition and wondering why the system won't allow you to.

And yes, your partition layout with the 3 logical volumes is absolutely possible. However, Disk Management in Windows 7 has its limitations, so your best option is to use the bootable CD version of Partition Wizard which is a free .iso download.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

There is an alternative to dual booting and that is to run Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine. See this tutorial. Linux - Install on Windows 7 Virtual Machine using VirtualBox
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peGGi View Post
I don't particularly want all those partitions, but I want to install a Linux distro but keep Windows 7, so have a dual-boot set-up.

What I'm aiming for is:

1. the hidden bootmgr partition - 200mb - (primary)
2. the C: drive - for Windows - about 80 Gb - (primary)
3. the D: drive - for Lenovo software/drivers - 30 Gb - (logical)
4. the new E: drive - for the Linux distro - about 80 Gb - (logical)
5. the new F: drive - for data - about 430 Gb - (logical)
6. the hidden, OEM drive - for Lenovo's recovery software - about 15 Gb - (primary)

Do you think this is possible?

I don't know if I can delete the D: because the Lenovo drivers, etc., are on it...
Sure that is possible. But I am with Kado. An installation in Virtual Box is a much better deal. I am running Ubuntu that way and it runs beautifully - plus you can switch to your host Windows 7 with 1 click and back to Ubuntu the same.

Double booting with Linux is always a problem because the Grub takes over the bootmgr and that can be a big mess the day you want to uninstall Linux. If you go this route, make sure you first make an image of the 100MB system partition so that you can easily restore that without all the Grub mess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

It's even simpler if you use VMWare Player. It does all the set-up for you. VMware Player: Run Windows 7, Chrome OS - Free Download for a Virtual PC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Please Help Me Understand the Partitions on My Hard-Drive




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